|Welcome to the Our Oregon Capitol Insider, a newsletter designed to keep you informed about the most important goings-on in Salem during the legislative session.
Tax Breaks in Focus
While Oregon’s tax breaks have grown year after year, costing the state billions of dollars, other programs and services have suffered reduced or static budgets. Further, these tax giveaways have grown unchecked and beyond expectation.
► The Senate Committee on Finance and Revenue will hold a hearing Wednesday at 1pm (HR A) to review Oregon’s Tax Expenditures report, the list of 378 special tax breaks, credits, and exemptions written into Oregon’s tax code.
► The House Revenue Committee will holding their hearing to review the report on Thursday at 8am (HR A.)
Over the weekend, the Oregonian published an article on the momentum to reign in out-of-control tax breaks the state gives away.
Many key legislators are taking a very close look at how to put the brakes on tax breaks – primarily those that only benefit big corporations and the wealthy – in order to put more funds into Oregon classrooms and vital services. And for good reason: We’re expected togive away more than $36 billion in tax breaks over the next two years. That’s an increase of 29% since 2009, even while cuts have been made to schools and health services for seniors.
If you can’t make it to Salem, you can live stream the hearings here.
Overview of Governor’s Budget
Various Joint Committee on Ways and Means subcommittees are holding informational meetings this Thursday to examine components of the Governor’s proposed budget, including:
- Subcommittee on Natural Resources: 1pm in H-170
- Subcommittee on Transportation and Economic Development: 1pm in H-174
- Subcommittee on Public Safety: 3pm in H-170
► With the swearing in of Speaker Tina Kotek on January 14, the Oregon House not only gains an accomplished new leader — the state makes progress as the first state in the nation with an openly lesbian legislative leader.
► It looks like Friday will be an, um, exciting day at the Capitol building. More than 300 self-proclaimed “Gun Patriots” have announced their intention to rally inside the Capitol Building with their guns.